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History: Introduction

find information sources for your history assignments

This page gets you started with research for a history assignment. Here you will find general information on journal articles and recommended databases. Get information on finding books and using reference books.

For resources specific to a particular course look at these pages in this guide: 1) African American History (HIST 2060), 2) Tennessee History (HIST 2030), 3) United States History (HIST 2010& HIST 2020), and 4) World History (HIST 2310 & HIST 2320).

Journal articles: an explanation

Use articles from scholarly journals for your history research project. A scholarly journal is also referred to as an academic or peer-reviewed journal. Find full-text journal articles in a library database.

CAUTION When a journal article is required as a source for your research project your professor typically means a research article. Be aware that journals also include articles like brief reports, comments on previously published articles, book reviews, obituaries, and letters to the editor.

Limit your search to "articles" in the database's advanced search to eliminate other article types.

Journal articles: recommended databases

Find articles from journals in the library's databases. Use full-text articles; abstracts are not acceptable sources. These databases are the best resources to begin a search for history articles.


Books are an excellent information source for most history research assignments.

Use Pioneer Search - In the Library to find books on the shelves of Thigpen Library in Gallatin. Books from Thigpen Library can be sent to other campus libraries.

Find eBooks by searching our eBook collection (EBSCOhost).

Reference books

Reference books provide facts, not analysis or interpretation. Use reference books to learn about your topics or related topics before searching for journal articles. Use the library's online reference collection Credo Reference to learn about an historical event.

Cite any information used in your research paper from a reference book and include it on the Works Cited page. However, if you are required to use a minimum number of sources do not count any reference books used as a "source"

This guide recommends library resources, digital archives, and websites relevant to the topics taught in History courses at Vol State. The recommended resources are credible and suitable for academic assignments but these resources may not meet the criteria for your assignment.

Ask a librarian for help using these resources or finding additional resources. Ask your professor if a particular information source is appropriate for the assignment.

Images used on this guide are 1) available on the public domain, 2) created from a licensed resource, and/or 3) licensed under a Creative Commons license and used according to the terms in the license.